With so many options available, choosing the ideal car seat for your precious cargo can be a daunting task. You want your little one to be comfortable, and you want to make certain it features every safety standard available. By writing this guide, we hope to make your endeavor in choosing the perfect car seat as easy as possible. After researching a number of car seats, we have narrowed the list down to our 10 favorites. The list contains a variety of features, and all seats meet or exceed safety standards.
Evenflo designed this 5-point harness car seat to meet or exceed federal safety tests and made certain it passed their own side impact standard. Its structural integrity was tested at energy levels two times the federal crash test standard. Extra shoulder harness positions provide a better fit and the ability to use the seat longer. The adjustable front harness and buckle release make it easier to adjust for a perfect fit. Extra comfort is provided by the built-in body cushion and older kids have the option of removing the head pillow.
It is designed for rear-facing infants 5-30 lbs and 19-37″. Harness and buckle covers are added for comfort. The seat pad is easily removed and is machine-washable. Lightweight and compact, the Evenflo Tribute also features the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system which makes it easier to install.
Made of 100% polyester, it’s available in multiple colors/designs including Saturn, Abigail, Neptune, Pink Mums, and Ella.
Safety 1st offers a combination rear-facing, forward-facing, and belt-positioning booster that will last for years. It offers side impact protection and the QuickFitTM 5-position padded headrest that adjusts with the harness from the front to accommodate height. The recommendations for rear-facing are 5-35 lbs, forward-facing is 22-40 lbs, and belt-positioning booster is 40-100 lbs. The infant head support contains EPP energy absorbing foam. The head support and lumbar cushion are removable. The 3-position recline is easily adjusted.
Available in many colors including Nitron, green, grey, Arlington, Bromley, Pretty Paws, quartz, Seaside Bay, and Cumberland. The seat also features a removable cup holder and rotating arm rests.
The innovative Recline Sure 9-position leveling system offers more reclining options than most other car seats. This feature enables a more accurate fit in a wider variety of vehicles. The two Ride Right bubble levels help ensure the correct seat angles in the rear-facing and forward-facing modes. A tight and secure fit is provided by the super cinch LATCH tightener. When changing the seat from rear to forward-facing, the slide path makes re-positioning the LATCH strap more convenient. The Chicco NextFit has a 6-position headrest, adjustable harnesses, and a 2-position chest clip to oblige with the growth of your child.
It also includes an infant insert and built-in lock-offs for easy vehicle installation. A LATCH storage compartment and insulated cup holder with a pocket are also featured.
Graco’s 4ever car seat is designed with durability, safety, and longevity in mind. The 5-point harness system is recommended for rear-facing children 4-40 lbs and forward-facing 20-65 lbs. The booster seat set in high back belt-positioning mode is designed for 30-100 lb children, while the backless mode is designed for children 40-120 lbs.
The InRight LATCH easy 1-second LATCH attachment provides effortless installation. The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System along with the 10-position headrest can easily be adjusted with no rethreading. The level indicator is simple to read when adjusting the 6-position recline.
Plush inserts are included for infants and 2 cup holders will make the older kids happy. It’s engineered and crash-tested to meet or exceed U.S. standard FMVSS 213. Using the New Car Assessment Program, the peak crash force is approximately 2x the car seat standard. EPS energy-absorbing foam is used for successful energy management. The steel-reinforced frame provides long-lasting durability. The washable seat cover is easy to remove. The available colors/designs include Studio, Matrix, Azalea, and Cougar.
The Graco Nautilus has many of the same features as the Graco 4ever, however, it’s listed as an option for parents looking for a new car seat for their toddler. The Nautilus is a 5-point harness car seat that features the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System. This system allows you to adjust the height of the harness and headrest simultaneously with no rethreading. The 3-position recline assists you in finding the most comfortable position for your child. Little ones will love the cup holder and storage compartment.
The Nautilus is crash-tested to meet or exceed U.S. standard FMVSS 213 and is tested using the New Car Assessment Program which resulted in a peak crash force 2x the car seat standard. The car seat contains EPS energy-absorbing foam for effective impact energy management. The open-loop belt guide provides easy positioning of the vehicle seat belt.
In front-facing mode, the recommended weight is 22-65 lbs, for the belt positioning high back booster the recommended weight is 30-100 lbs, and for the backless booster 40-100 lbs. The seat pad, harness, and buckle covers add extra comfort and are machine washable. The available colors include Sully, garnet, Matrix, Gavit, Jetson, Sylvia, Valerie, and fern.
The Diono Radian is built to last and offers maximum protection. It is designed with a full steel frame and lined with EPS foam. The SafeStop energy absorbing harness system provides extra safety. Recommended for rear-facing children 5-45 lbs and forward-facing 20-80 lbs and no more than 57″ for the 5-point harness. The booster is for children up to 120 lbs.
Infant body support cushions and memory foam are integrated for extra comfort. The headrest is adjustable and has reinforced sidewalls. Super LATCH installation makes it easy to move from car to car, and the sleek design allows room for 3 to be installed in medium-size vehicles. For added comfort, expandable sides and a longer seat bottom are integrated into the design. It has 5 shoulder and 3 buckle positions and sits low for children to easily get in and out.
It folds flat and is FAA approved. A cup holder is included with an option to add up to 4. Another feature is the rear-facing tether capability. The available colors include Plum, Shadow, Heather, Black Scarlet, Storm, Black Cobalt, Black Plum, Black Mist, Essex, Rugby, and Daytona.
The Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 uses FlexTech for multi-directional crash energy management and Air Protect for unbeatable side impact protection. The self-wicking fabrics and premium padding help keep your infant dry and comfortable. The fabrics easily remove for washing with no rethreading. It is designed for children rear-facing 9-40 lbs and forward-facing 22-70 lbs. The headrest and harness are easily adjusted with one hand, and the 3 recline positions guarantee a comfortable ride. The adjustable base stays in the car, and the entire seat is designed to easily fit in any vehicle without taking up a lot of room.
Available colors include Brown Leather, Black Gravel, Black Toffee, Bohemian Red, Bohemian Blue, Blue Base, Brown Earth, Grey Gravel, Grey Leather, Sweet Cerise, Pink Berry, Mineral Grey, and Total Black.
The Recaro Performance Sport offers the twist-resistant HERO harness technology that is easily adjusted and requires no rethreading. A racing-inspired white stripe known as Recaro’s SafetyStripe System alerts parents to potential harness twisting. The cotton/poly fabrics are temperature balancing with CoolMesh air ventilation for added comfort. This car seat has metal reinforced side wings that were designed to offer protection in side impact crashes. The push button LATCH system makes securing the seat easier than ever.
In forward-facing harness mode, the seat is designed for children weighing 20-65 lbs and 27″-49″. The high-back booster mode is designed for 30-120 lbs and 37″-59″. It includes a cup holder and a convenient recline to adjust to your vehicle’s seat. A universal top tether system is included as an additional anchor. This seat is certified for air travel when used in harness mode. The available colors include Vibe, Knight, Haze, Sapphire, Rose, Slate, Red, Plum, and Marine.
The Safe Cell Impact Protection system is found only in Britax car seats. This system allows safety components to work together to protect your child beyond the federal safety standards. The steel frame, impact absorbing base, 3 layered side-impact protection, V-shaped tether to minimize rotation, and staged release stitches that slow and reduce forward movement all work together to provide security in an accident.
The Click Tight installation system is incredibly easy to use, providing a safe snug harness and an audible ‘click’ to ensure your child is secure. The 10 position harness and 2 position buckle are easily adjusted as your child grows. Lower anchors offer quick and easy vehicle installation. The recommended weight for rear-facing is 5-40 lbs and forward-facing 20-65 lbs.
The Evenflo Symphony offers several features that provide safety and ease of adjusting to accommodate your growing child. Rear-facing mode is designed for children 5-40 lbs and forward-facing is designed for 22-65 lbs. The high back booster is recommended for children 40-110 lbs. The Quick Connector LATCH system allows easy installation and removal. The 5-point Infinite Slide Harness makes it easy to find the right fit and eliminates rethreading. The e3 Side Impact Protection reduces side impact crash force by up to 50%.
It includes a cup holder, adjustable head rest, and multi-position recline. The colors/designs available include Ava, Harrison, Crete, Kronus, and Graphic Black.